Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Once you’ve made the decision to get started, the biggest challenge is often…getting started. It’s easy to put things off, especially something like working out and changing your diet. But like we talked about last week, if you can just take a couple steps in the right direction, you can get some momentum working for you.

Here are 10 ideas that can help you get started:

1. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier and go for a walk outside every morning. I like to walk 5 minutes down the lane and back, and then get on my rower for 5 minutes, and then do the bike easy for 5 minutes. It’s different, takes just 15 minutes and gets my mind going and my body loosened up. If I have time, I’ll do 2 rounds.

2. Eat breakfast. Studies show that people who eat breakfast lose more weight than those who don’t eat breakfast.

3. If you’re planning on working out at a gym, call and make an appointment for a visit. Unless you already know which one you want to join, check out several in your area. Talk to your friends. Where do they workout? It can be motivating to have some people you know with you when you’re working out. Set a goal to be signed up by the end of the week.

4. Talk to people who have done this and do what they’ve done. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. It takes some cardio every day, watching what you eat, and weight workouts at least 3 days a week.

5. Go for smaller, more frequent meals & snacks. I personally recommend 3 smaller meals and 2-3 healthy snacks.

6. Start eating more fruits & vegetables, and more whole grains instead of the packaged, processed foods. You’ll get more energy and feel better too. And unless you’re diabetic, you can pretty much eat all the fruits & vegetables you can handle. This goes a long way to filling you up!

7. Start eating more protein, at every meal. Good sources of protein include low fat dairy products like yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk; chicken & turkey, and lean cuts of beef; nuts, peanut butter, and some beans. Some healthy snack ideas include a sliced apple with peanut butter, and some fruit and yogurt.

8. Be determined. Don’t settle for less than success this time. No matter how many times you’ve tried before. This time is going to be different. Make a decision and make it happen. If you have a week where you don’t lose weight, get mad, get even, and get back on the program.

9. Be consistent. I lost 35 lbs over a 7 month period by adding an hour on the bike every night while I watched the news and other programs we record. I didn’t miss a single day. Not one. Still don’t.

10. Stop the pop and start drinking more water. If you find yourself having to go to the bathroom more often and it’s clear, that means you’re probably drinking enough.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at !

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Last week we talked about excuses. This week, I want to talk about one reason why we’ve become an overweight society.

There’s a principle in physics that states that objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Likewise, objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless also acted on by an outside force.

A good example is trying to push a stalled car off the road without any help. At first, it’s pretty hard to get it moving, but once you get going and build up a little speed, it’s a little easier to keep it going. This is called overcoming inertia, which can be difficult.

I think this can apply to us too. Have you ever noticed that very few toddlers are out of shape? They’re moving all the time, up and down, all around, and getting lots of exercise just in their play.

But once they get a little older, their activity level can get cut back if they’re not in some organized sports. If you step back and look at the big picture, you start to see two very different types of kids: those who are in pretty good shape and those who are overweight.

Those who are active, tend to stay active and stay in pretty good shape. Those who quit moving start putting on weight, even as a child. In this case, the outside force is the TV and video games, which act like anchors that weigh them down.

If you’re not careful about regulating their TV and game time, the older they get, the more pronounced the weight gain, and then you have a candidate for childhood obesity. Studies show that if someone is obese as a teenager, they are much more likely to be obese as an adult. At that point, it’s really hard to turn things around.

I also run into quite a few people who were active in high school, or even college, but things got out of control later. Once they started work and a family, they became less active. In this case, the outside force was the demands on their time and energy.

Sometimes, you can get your start by actually stopping something. Like they say, if you know you’re digging a hole for yourself, the first thing to do is to stop digging.

It might be as simple as quitting drinking pop. Then you can start replacing certain junk foods with better choices. Then, you might start going for 20 minute walks every day. You can start building from that.

Once you start fighting back, your motivation becomes the new outside force. The more you want it, the more you’ll be willing to make the changes necessary. When your “know you need to” becomes not just a “want to” but a “have to” that’s when you’ll be on your way. To borrow from George Lucas and Obi-Wan, “may the “force” be with you.”

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at !

Monday, July 09, 2012


This week let’s talk about excuses. We make them about all kinds of things. During my “midlife crisis” a couple years ago, I came up with lots of reasons for what I was doing. Even the term “midlife crisis” tries to put a different face on it, but none of that made it right.

And those five pounds I put on recently? Since Tough Mudder is over, I’ve cut back my running, so I’m not burning quite as many calories each day. But I’m still eating the same. A valid excuse, I think, but it doesn’t solve the problem.

Heck, even writing this article has been hard this time. We just finished Biggest Loser “16” last week, which always provided plenty to talk about. But coming up with something new has been a little difficult. And then there’s the holiday to deal with. See? More excuses.

It’s easy to come up with excuses, especially when we’re talking about things as personal as fidelity and relationships, or diet and exercise. As long as we can come up with a reason for doing what we’re doing, it seems to make it alright—at least in our minds, for awhile.

But sometimes, the truth will filter through, even though we try to block it. When that happens, we find ourselves conflicted. At that point, we’ll often try to make more… you guessed it… excuses.

If we’re successful in excusing ourselves, the “problem” is solved and we can go on doing what we’re doing. But if we find ourselves in a big enough crisis, the excuses start to run a little thin, even to us. If things get bad enough, well, sooner or later we’ll have to face it.

It’s always better to deal with things sooner, rather than later. You might have some consequences, but if you wait too long, the problems get bigger, and so do the consequences. The more out of control you are, the harder it is to get back on track.

Fortunately, the human body and spirit are pretty amazing. We’re designed to come back from almost anything—just look at some of our Wounded Warriors. They deal with things that make most of our problems miniscule.

But if you’ve been letting things get out of control, maybe this is the time to take a look at things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to someone who let one thing happen, then another, and before they knew it, they were significantly overweight.

They maybe had an injury, or got busy at work, and stopped working out. Somehow, things got off track with their diet, too. It’s easy to do. Some people keep doing it over and over.

Obesity is becoming normal, instead of the exception. Kids quit moving right around the time they can start watching TV and playing video games, and things often go downhill from there.

We need to either cut back our portions or find a way to get more exercise in every day. Some of us need to do both. Most of all, we need to quit making excuses.

As for me, since I finally got this article done, I’m going to go home and kiss my wife, tell her I love her, and have some supper while watching my portions. Then I’m going to get on the exercise bike and ride it at least 45 minutes. Normally I’d go an hour, but I worked legs today and my legs are kind of sore… whoops, there I go again with the excuses. I’d better go an hour.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at !